This page last updated April 3rd 2013
Update: photo of fret; 3.5mm scale available

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War Department WD Decauville 8T

1:35 ; 7mm (1:43.5) and 3.5mm (1:87) scales



Photo: Didier Duforest; May 2007; (Decauville N°1652 de 1916)


The Decauville company developed portable railways for use in agricultural settings, mining and construction projects. The track was a major innovation and used sections of narrow gauge portable track that was fixed to metal sleepers. From the late 19th century, Decauville produced not only the track but also locomotives and cars.

This “Decauville 8T” is an 0-6-0T locomotive that was specifically produced for the French army trench railways during WWI to their ‘standard gauge‘ of 600mm ((1 ft 11 5/8 in). Decauville produced 320 of these locomotives, with both well and side tanks between 1914 and 1918. Decauville could not keep up with the military's demand, so Kerr Stuart of the UK built a further 70 units. The KS locomotives were known as the "Joffre" class. A further, somewhat different class, the "Haig" class was produced by Kerr's from what were ostensibly excess parts.

As a historical point the original four locos built by Kerr Stuart had to be modified on shipping to France. The tyre profile was altered, as was the springing, for those four, and for all the later production. Subsequently an additional “ballast” weight was added behind the front buffing plate.

A number of these locomotives still exist; Axe on the rebuilt L&B is a modified Joffre, thus proving that despite being built for a short term life, they were rugged and reliable.


This Steam And Things etched brass fret is for a War Department Decauville 8T 0-6-0T. This is not a kit, but a set of etched parts as an aid to scratch building. Other parts may be added in the future.

These parts could be used to scratch build a Kerr Stuart "Joffre" class as well, as the differences were cosmetic and were related to the well tank, and as noted above, the springing, tyre profile, and a few other incidentals.


Parts on fret:
Part No. Description Quantity
00 Cab Back 1 back with hoop 1 rear buffing plate 3 rivet strips (hoop + straights)
01 Cab Front 1 off + 2 spectacle plates
02 Cab Roof 1 off
03 Cab Side & Tanks 2 off mirror images 2 off double rivet strip
04 Front Buffing Plate 1 off + 1 rivet strip
05 Tank Insert 2 off
06 Tank Bottom 2 off


Photograph: Bruno Duchesne; Line Drawing: public domain draughtsman unknown


Fret (scratch building aid) prices as follows:

  • 1:35 Scale A$ 120.00
  • 7mm Scale A$ 110.00
  • 3.5mm Scale A$49.00
  • Prices exclusive of postage / mail charges
  • Full terms and conditions click


  • Please use these links to access our site. These and further links for other general categories and an expanded list is also in the blue navigation panel on the left hand side.

    Products Services Etching Transfers / decals Future products Price list Contact us

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